by Mary Ann Greco
“All men are created equal” is a fundamental principle in our Government’s constitution. This principle recognizes the natural order of the human condition, “all men are created un-equal”. “Equalization” of the human in society is a responsibility of those who govern. (Equalization is the process of balancing. Here it is used in reference to the human in society). It is a goal, an aim, a never-ending road, but an “ideal” we strive for in order to establish fair practice in societies. This begins from the smallest social group, the family, through to nations.
Groups of people come together in recognition of higher forms of thought recognizing the need for order and fair practice in a society. These groups are the elected governments. If it were natural for the human in large societies to form fair and humane practices, there would be no need to create a constitution. Recognizing the need for order and fair practice, most Governments establish constitutions protecting Human Rights.
“Total equalization” or “obliteration of personal financial incentive” of society, ideally intends to address higher forms of human behavior: arts, music, science, law. Monastic Life would be an extreme, but clear example of how “intelligence” and “skills” flourish in a “non-profit society”.
Albert Einstein in “Ideas & Opinions” expresses his personal values “on being frugal”, as reflected in his life-style. As well, Aristotle in “Nicomachean Ethics” holds highest in value “virtue”. When all comforts can be removed from one’s life, fortune, beauty, fame, etc., the experience of “serving, helping, teaching, giving,” can never be taken away from the human; therefore the human’s “sense of self” is indeed very rich regardless of physical circumstances.
The Human Condition
Un-equality is a permanent, inevitable factor of life. Humans simply do not have any choices when it comes to specific circumstances. Such circumstances are: birth, sex, parents, place, culture, cultural thought patterns, economic status, ethnic group, and so forth. Ideally, Governments recognize the natural order of the “un-equality of the human condition” and strive toward achieving balance or equality by establishing a constitution based on human rights. If Governments have a singularly profound approach towards accepting and dealing with the existence of the “un-equality of the human condition”, they will be in the direction of eliminating greed and indifference which allure those in power.
Unregulated capitalist competition, or survival of the fittest, merely adds to the difficulties already presented by circumstances beyond an individual’s control. Our constitution clearly outlines human rights, but addressing them is a constant struggle by those in Government. Government Officials working for the people could very well be viewed as “missionaries”. They devote their entire lives upholding our constitution. The difficulties lie in that others in power live in different realities. Cocooned from the masses, they are far removed from the ordinary uncomfortable conditions of common life. This distance creates divisions between the classes of people and government and ultimately results in rebellious behavior. (Webs of crime: ex: street drugs to drug trafficking).
Un-equalization in American society is apparent and innate to the current social structure. It is an immobilization of the middle and lower classes in a relentless condition of struggle to maintain a basic minimum or below minimum standard of life.
The least money one earns the higher the cost of living expenses. In some cases it cost more money to work than the wage being earned. Living expenses are the costs of luxuries. Consequently living expenses themselves become luxuries. Gas, heating, education, food, and housing expenses become out of reach for the working class. In some cases one has to be rich to be poor. Homes in slum areas are expensive and unaffordable for the working poor.
However, the more money one earns the more “perks” one receives. Gas, tolls, housing, travel, relocation, education expenses are incorporated in the work contract. Recently, (New Jersey), Asbury Park Press gave much space to an article regarding the “fleet of cars available to the New Jersey State Official Employees”. The article specifically pointed out how the availability of these cars aid New Jersey officials during the gas crisis. In the same newspaper, the same week, another smaller article appeared addressing how the average working person can save $1073.00 a year by making a sandwich for lunch. Hmm?
At the highest end of the scale exclusive benefits which remove one from the masses are simply expected. Elaborate security measures, events, and organizations, are created to protect and provide for the highest end of the scale. Exclusive circles of society provide further insulation from the average American life. At this level there are no cost factors. There are no tabs, simply a high level web, where upon invitation one can move freely without hesitation.
“Society as a Reflection of the Times” is often used to define the “values” of a society at a particular time in history. Today, there are extremes; opulence and poverty. At higher-end life-styles, “Every Man Is King of His Home” is the theme which dictates the design of his entire environment. Homes, furniture, fabrics, autos, are all designed in “regal” style. Styles meant for a King. Homes are designed in the architectural style of palaces. Clothes, shoes, handbags, are embellished in jewels and tapestries, once available only for the Renaissance Royalty, are now available at Neiman Marcus. Mont Blanc offers a diamond and gold pen at $140,000.00. Ten years ago, the Mont Blanc high end pen was a simple conservative, understated, Meisterstuck, priced at about $195.00. And then there is the “Dollar Store”.
Societies within Society experience different realities. Each one insulated and bound by its own parameters of classification. Today the differences are extreme.
Where are the drops from the Trickle down Effect of Reaganomics? The Trickle down Effect is now obsolete. The Ragan movement to make states, towns, communities responsible for themselves, frees government to appropriate tax monies for government causes. We see the government standing back and watching the people take care of themselves. This is evident in the recent flood disaster of Katrina. The President’s humble acceptance of responsibility for lack of attention is crucial. How he moves forward with re-development plans will be something to observe. How the Government plans to re-construct New Orleans will demonstrate exactly how un-equalization will continue or not.